James Delingpole

Must all Children’s Laureates be tedious lefties?

I hear Chris Riddell’s lovely. I just hope he doesn’t engage in the same politically correct proselytising as his predecessors

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

4 July 2015

9:00 AM

Unless you’re an avid reader of the Guardian, you’re probably blissfully unaware that Britain has a new Children’s Laureate. His name is Chris Riddell, he’s an illustrator and a cartoonist for the Observer, and according to one who has interviewed him he is a delightful man: ‘Giggly, childlike, doodled book illustrations on his napkin throughout.’

I’m glad about this. One of the roles of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate — in return for his £15,000 bursary and his ‘specially designed and inscribed silver medal’ — is to tour Britain’s schools and festivals acting as an ambassador for children’s literature. Clearly, it would be a disadvantage were the incumbent to prove, say, a filthy old perv, a cantankerous git, or a total illiterate. But for me, almost worse than any of those flaws, would be this: if Riddell — despite his evident drawing skills and general loveliness — turns out to be as infuriatingly, tediously, proselytisingly lefty as at least two of his predecessors.

The one just gone was bad enough. Never having got beyond page one of a Malorie Blackman novel — though my daughter speaks highly of Noughts and Crosses — I can offer no views on her authorial talent. What I do know is that, immensely tiresomely, she would insist on using the laureate’s platform to bore on about identity politics.

Here she is (in the Guardian, inevitably) on multiculturalism: ‘I don’t think we’ve gone far enough with it in terms of making sure children know about different cultures and ways of living.’ Really, Malorie? Really? Did you ever actually pay attention when you visited all those primary schools with their Mary Seacole posters and their projects celebrating Eid and Diwali? (Though, to be fair, probably not so much Easter or Yom Kippur….) And here she is, ibid, sounding off on history: ‘History should belong to all of us and it needs to include people from different cultural backgrounds.’ (Sorry to bring this one up again, Malorie, but: Mary Seacole?) And on her specialist subject: ‘We need more books that are specifically about the BME [black and minority ethnic] British experience, and that’s why I bang the drum for getting more diverse books out there…’.


Yeah, those barriers to entry to children of colour, Malorie. There is just no way on earth that any kid without the requisite wriggling green body could ever get into the head of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. No child of West Indian heritage has ever had an Aunt Spiker or an Aunt Sponge. And J.K. Rowling’s frankly shaming failure to include a single character of ethnic persuasion (unless you count redheads) into the magic Harry-Ron-Hermione circle explains why her series only had global sales in excess of 450 million and was translated into such stubbornly Anglo-Saxon tongues as Bengali, Khmer, Urdu, Persian, Hindi and Arabic.

Mind you, compared with the 2007 to 2009 incumbent, Blackman comes across like David Starkey addressing a Ukip rally after a Jeroboam of Cheval Blanc ’47. I’m talking, of course, about the poet and author Michael Rosen — on whose best-known book I am more than qualified to pass judgment, having read it several times and found it to be possibly the most mind-numbingly tedious work in the entire canon of children’s literature.

I forget the book’s name but basically it’s about these kids whose parents take them on a bear hunt. Possibly because they inhabit some fluffy liberal fantasyland where actions have no consequences — it’s never explained — the parents seem to have no idea how dangerous the enterprise is. Nor does the author. Or, if he does, he cops out completely in his dismal pay-off. (Spoiler alert.) The bear comes out of his cave but doesn’t rip any of the family’s faces off, as bears are wont to do with their razor-sharp, salmon-stripping paws. Instead, it just stumbles after them endearingly. And they all live happily ever after. (Now imagine having to re-read that every night for up to five years. As I didn’t, luckily. We were much more Goodnight Moon, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! and The Rats by James Herbert, thank goodness.)

Anyway, if I’d written a book as unbelievably dull as that, I think the last thing I’d be doing is going round the country pontificating on the cultural needs of Britain’s kiddies. But it hasn’t put off Rosen.

Rosen’s main bugbear — as riffed on endlessly in his Guardian column — seems to be that the vile, constrictive Tory establishment is hellbent on imposing on the nation’s kids the kind of rigorous, disciplined education he suffered at Watford Grammar School for Boys in the early 1960s, which meant that despite his ordinary background he could only get into Wadham College, Oxford, to read English.

Perhaps he’s right. Maybe the very last thing kids need in the 21st century is to be taught to read quickly and efficiently using the tried-and-tested phonics method; maybe memorising poetry and absorbing facts really does damage children’s vital creativity; maybe all classes should be remodelled on Alan Bennett’s History Boys, whereby fabulous, freewheeling, inspirational teachers spend every lesson digressing on anything but the subject they’re supposed actually to be teaching.

Problem is — and of course, I wouldn’t expect Rosen to be aware of this, the children’s sector being almost entirely composed of doctrinaire progressives — that not everyone who has kids is left-wing. Some of us have different views as to how our children should best be educated. And it would be nice, one day, to hear these views being expressed by a Children’s Laureate. Not this one, necessarily: he does after all draw for the Observer. But the next one, maybe, who might turn out to be someone proper along the lines of Susan Hill or Anthony Horowitz. And, please God, anyone but Terry Deary.

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Show comments
  • Sue Smith

    These writers are beyond boring, especially when they pontificate and tell us what’s good for us. Spending all day at your desk writing is hardly engaging with the world, but they all have the tired old tic of knowing what’s better for society than those of us who are actively and successfully engaged in it. I wonder if Roald Dahl was a proselytizer?

    • Hannah Wales

      Shakespeare – what a waste of a life!

      • goodsoldier

        You deliberately misunderstand her. These PC writers never have any idea what really concerns most people but use writing as a means to preach fashionable ideology to replace their non-existent imagination. You must be a Guardianista–they always deliberately misunderstand people they don’t agree with.

        • Hannah Wales

          Hiw tedious it is when people can only use the idea that one must be a reader of The Guardian in an attempt to insult. I read The Telegraph if you must know. And she made the point that a life spent writing was not one that engaged with the world, wiping out the worth of the written word in one stupid sentence. I admire children’s authors. How else do we expect our young to learn how to read? It seems that in your blind hatred, you would both rather raise an illiterate generation with no imagination. People do not come more ideologically blinkered than that.

          • Sue Smith

            You are wrong; I speak about authors such as those in this item – not the world’s most remarkable writers (of which there are sadly few).

            The current generation of (mostly unremarkable) writers are proselytizers and I’ve watched many hundreds of “book shows” and am constantly staggered by their precious, middle class, educated virtue signalling. So remote from it all!! Where, oh where are the people who really ‘get it’??

        • Sue Smith

          Thank you; that’s exactly what I meant. They mostly think that if they’re “nice” to everybody the feeling will be reciprocated; not only naive like a child, but foolish and dangerous as an idea.

          Again, the really really great writers (like Tolstoy) knew what human beings were really capable of doing!!

      • St Ignatius

        If you think Rosen and Blackman are comparable to Shakespeare, schools must be in a worse condition than even Delingpole claims.

        • Sue Smith

          It’s called “relativism”.

      • Sue Smith

        You obviously haven’t read any of Shakespeare or you’d realize that he shows RARE understanding, unlike the vast vast majority of writers. I guess that’s what made him a house-hold name!!

      • Damon

        But Shakespeare was also an actor and (probably worst of all from an Islington/Hampstead perspective) a grammar-school-educated self-made man. He was also a shameless defender of the patriarchy, the swine.

  • grammarschoolman

    ‘Rosen’s main bugbear — as riffed on endlessly in his Guardian column — seems to be that the vile, constrictive Tory establishment is hellbent on imposing on the nation’s kids the kind of rigorous, disciplined education he suffered at Watford Grammar School for Boys in the early 1960s, which meant that despite his ordinary background he could only get into Wadham College, Oxford, to read English.’

    What would a left-wing commentator on education be without a healthy dose of utter hypocrisy? Don’t forget, though, that it was Rosen’s ghastly parents who f*cked up English teaching in the first place. He has a family tradition to keep up.

  • jim

    Brainwashing of course. Another disingenuous article to sucker the more naive Speccies.As if there were any doubt at all about the true natures of those who control every aspect of the culture,high and low. The west lost the cold war.We have the mediaeducationpublic services to prove that.Who needs the rusty old USSR when you’ve got the EU and BBC.? Get ’em while their young so you can make ’em hate their parents.Especially Dad.

  • sir_graphus

    The next one will be Terry Deary, then.

  • Stuart Locke

    It’s so hard to find right wing people who like other people’s children (or even their own, given the prevalence of boarding schools and nannies), or who are prepared to walk into state schools and talk to the oiks. Perhaps this is why you’ll never see one as children’s laureate.

    • Andrew Smith

      The majority of parents are neither raving lefties or child-eating righties. Why can’t this attitude be reflected in one of these sinecures?

      • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

        If you think teachers are right wing I have to wonder where your kids attend school.

        As to why isn’t politics kept out of education the answer is simple: Control what the kids think and you control what the future is. I was thinking just that yesterday when I read what the 7 year olds “had come up with on their own” as answers to world poverty : UN slogans written in 7 year-old’s handwriting

      • Sue Smith

        Listen up:

        Either OR
        Neither NOR

    • mmac1968

      Right wing people! For gods sake most of Labour are millionaires and are privately educated. The same applies for the Guardian news paper columnists and the BBC presenters. The likes of Diane Abbot believe private schools are ok for her because Black mums will do anything for their kids. Harriet Harman and Poly Toynbee are similarly both hypocrites as they to were Grammar educated and filthy rich. The same Grammar Schools which helped tens of thousands to succeed on good old hard work and merit. But the Left (rich and privately educated) ignore this success for dogmatic ideological reasons, which boils down to we must remain better than you. My kids go to private school because it offers them a better chance than the comprehensive I went to, devoid of PC crap and hard work driven backed by parents who realise the worth of what they are investing in. So infact we pay twice and as most state schools receive about the same as most private schools the only difference is which one actually shows results. How does this miracle happen you might ask. Well it is because we work hard, 70-80 hours a week and never really home, a wife who reads to our children, discipline at school (If you play up and the warnings are ignored, you are expelled forever). We take an interest our children achievements, their failings and above all, we refuse to rely on the state and its PC crap. I apologise for spelling mistakes or grammatical errors but as I said I went to a comprehensive.

      • Stuart Locke

        Hmmm. Right wing people do tend to rant a lot don’t they? Of course we millionaires on zero hours contracts on minimum wage don’t have to struggle as much as you do so we have lots of time to pen columns for the Guardian and pop in the odd report for the BBC in our spare time.

        • mmac1968

          Right wing people rant a lot! I must have missed those rallies. To busy working I expect, whilst the hard working East Europeans seem to fill the jobs you are so busy complaining about. Strange how they live here paying the same rent as the locals but get on and get it done. They must have missed your indoctrination classes on how unfair life is.

          • Stuart Locke

            No they don’t have time to go to rallies, silly. They do it on line when everyone else is working. I assume you meant too busy and not to busy. I hope you have a secretary who proof reads your letters.

          • mmac1968

            Stuart must be my excellent comprehensive education. I will remain indebted to you for the spell check though. That certainly voided any worthwhile points I may have had. I will talk with the secretary who doubles as nanny, cook, cleaner and dry cleaning collector when she has the time. She does get the second Sunday off each month though.

          • Stuart Locke

            Hmm. I went to a comprehensive and I can spell. And I read to my kids (funny how you can find the time to read the Spectator and write lots of comments but not actually spend time with your own children). Still, it’s quite common among right wing people to blame others for their failings I find. Must dash – have to run and blame an immigrant for my problems.

          • mmac1968

            Must really grate the electorate did not see it your way. And its hilarious that you are complaining about your complaints being complained about. Immigrants are your problem not mine, as I pointed out they are busy working hard and possibly without your superb command of the English language. I am sure you have all the time in the world to read to your children, possibly fairy stories like climate change, labours manifesto for a fairer society (where even cleaners must get £30ph) and of course how Islam empowers women and is non violent. So yes I have all the time in the world to debate Billy Smarts political Circus. Co Co your turn.

          • Stuart Locke

            No, I’m more than happy for the electorate to vote for whomever they like. Apostrophes are not your strong point are they? Right, off to see my little one perform in his choir. Have a nice day “working”.

          • mmac1968

            Please stay you spelling God. Surely the strangely timed Friday choir can wait. If you convince me Greece and your other idiologically socialist proliferate spending institutions have got it right, I may vote Labour next time. Pretty please.

          • Stuart Locke

            I know. Summer concerts sung in Latin by 8 year olds. Damn state schools and their low expectations. Still, at least I’m not paying for it. Now why is there no Pimms here? What on earth has Greece got to do with children’s laureates and state education? You’ve really lost me now. Good god, that’s this? A Cello?

          • mmac1968

            Not a inner sink estate school then! When people claim their kids go to a state school, which correspondingly reflects the affluent area and the citizens they live in, is a slight of hand. Normally well performed by Labour. As it happens my wife is foreign and my children have duel nationality which means you can throw as many stones as you want about immigration. Why is it the Left which refuse us plebs the right to privately educate our children? So our school does not have to reflect our housing situation. Which part of Tower Hamlets did you say your kids attend? If you can not see the connection between reckless spending and thoughtful investment where results count then you my friend are a lost cause.

          • Stuart Locke

            No not a sink school. A very successful state school in a northern mill town with high levels of deprivation. I think you meant sleight of hand. You are welcome to privately educate your children. I think you’re a sucker but it leaves places free for others. My wife is not British either, though I think it insulting to call her a foreigner. And cannot is one word.

          • mmac1968

            A deprived Northern state school with Latin on the syllabus,again more than likely not a council estate school. And you find the word foreigner offensive, that really is ypur problem. I find the denigration of all things British in favour of suppossed superior foreign values offensive but hey ho I can’t help your obvious self loathing. No doubt bought your shame is bought sbout by your historical emperialist past. But still the public have spoken and what you think was rejected. A sucker is someone who keeps making the same mistake. Check out your mirror he is right in front of you.

          • Stuart Locke

            No not on the syllabus. It’s an after school club. And no, much as it may surprise you, not all people who send their children to state schools live on a council estate. Though lots of the children in the school do live there. And thrive. No self loathing here either – we’re perfectly happy. I don’t treat my wife as my personal servant, refer to her as the nanny and cleaner either. And I spend time with my children, rather than throw money at them and hope for the best. But it’s been interesting seeing how the other half lives. I think you meant imperialist by the way. And brought. And about. And your…

          • mmac1968

            Yet it was you throwing aspersions that right wing people do not mix with the the so called riff raf. And you assume that because I am right wing my wife is treated as a slave. Like many left wingers you stoop to insults when you can’t get your own way. Hence the rallies and strikes or the wailing when any sensible restriction on immigration ilarevmentioned and the throwing around of the word racist. No need for screening of aids or untreatable turbouclis, no need to prevent would be Jihadists or war criminals because you believe your beliefs outway the good of the indigenous population, who i sure in your book if white deserve what they get. Right wing means hard work, fairness, responsibility and the choice to do what you think is the best. Not what you socialists think we should do. Hence you lost the election.

          • Blazeaway

            Mr Locke, you missed a comma after “no”. Also, don’t you realise that “after school” in that context has become a compound adjective? Surely you realise what that requires.
            Would you like me to sub the whole of your work? It might help you.

          • Stuart Locke

            I think you needed a question mark there. But more than happy to learn new ways to improve my writing. I don’t take offence.

          • Blazeaway

            No question mark needed in that context

          • Stuart Locke

            It was a question. And call me thick, but…

          • Sue Smith

            Not “thick” so much as loony lefty.

          • Stuart Locke

            Loony? Interestingly, all the insane comments on this thread are by people who claim to be on the right. I wonder about the integrity of a person who attacks an 8 year old child but remains silent about the comments of Peter Chambers in this thread.

          • Sue Smith

            You are hilarious!! I haven’t laughed so much and I don’t usually find loony lefties funny.

          • goodsoldier

            It is so honourable of you not to treat your wife as your personal servant, or refer to her as the nanny and cleaner. You should get an award for such progressive attitudes. I still drag my wife around the house by her hair.

          • Sue Smith

            Go back and check your own egregious use of ‘language’ before you lecture others. Oh, wait, did you say you were a lefty…..you’re doing what they do perfectly; lecturing the rest of us.

          • Stuart Locke

            No I didn’t say I was a lefty. You all assumed I was.

          • Sue Smith

            It’s the predictable tics of the lefty which are a giveaway.

          • Sue Smith

            ‘That’s this’? I’m liking your linguistic ‘style’, Dude. Like your politics I suppose it’s ‘anything goes’.

          • Peter Chambers

            Are you really that anal retentive that all you can do is pull people up on spelling?, as to the topic at hand… Children’s laureut?? What a load of guff!! , I’m guessing that’s the BBC’s new name for a jimmy saville esque type , p.s god bless you guv,nor for your blessings on who we can and can’t vote for. P.s seeing how anal you are I’m guessing you time your pumps whilst making love to your wife/life choice partner … “Ready darling….aaand go, one pump,relax,one pump relax,….wait you recripocated at the wrong time, start over…”

          • Stuart Locke

            Incidentally, it’s anally. You don’t need a comma after your question mark, but you do need a capital letter and it’s children’s laureate. You need speech marks….oh, you’re so illiterate I can’t even read on…

          • Sue Smith

            One of your projections, I expect.

          • Sue Smith

            And I’m sorry that you don’t seem to be working at all. Oh, but who’d have thought. I hope Crispin went well in the choir, BTW. Was he wearing environmentally friendly clothing? I certainly hope so.

          • Stuart Locke

            Just got back from my night shift lovely lady. Some of us have to work unsociable hours. And he was wearing his school uniform of course.

          • Sue Smith

            Unsociable hours for unsociable people, say I!!

          • Hannah Wales

            Is it really necessary to attack someone’s child to score an obscure political point? I vote Conservative because I think it stands for decent values, but people like you and Peter give us all a bad name.

          • Peter Chambers

            You deary are not right wing , being a Tory is a fencesitter nothing more nothing less , if you valued decent values you would vote ukip , and what of the tories promises about referendums?? They gone quiet on that … As usual all mouth during election but no substance during government … I’m surprised you even gathered the courage to actually voice an opinion

          • Hannah Wales

            Ahhh. UKIP. Makes complete sense now. It must be galling to have so little representation in parliament my dear.

          • Stuart Locke

            Thank you Hannah.

          • Hannah Wales

            There have been some embarrassing responses to your posts. However, you did write something inflammatory. I can assure you that I do read to my children and so does my husband and we support the state education system. But it was a stupid article and I’m ashamed that so many of the people who sit on the side of the political spectrum that I do have been so undignified and rude. Particularly when you do the kind of job that we might all depend on one day.

          • goodsoldier

            Do your children go to state schools? If so which ones and for how long? I’ve heard so many say that they support state schools but don’t send their children there unless it is in a exclusive catchment area designated for wealthy lefties’ offspring. I’m not talking about grammar schools either.

          • Sue Smith

            I was being ironic to the class warrior Stuart, who has written patronizing comments about the right. And, unless I’m mistaken, his child isn’t a Spectator reader.

            And I’m a conservative myself. The hatred spewed by the left deserves rebuttal.

          • Peter Chambers

            Funny that , I blame immigrants ,well immigration full stop for 99% of this country’s ills , but a turd like you can’t see that can you , head so buried in the sand you produce glass when you fart … P.s what website did you get your wife from, sorry don’t mean wife.. I’m guessing more of the child bride variety …now why don’t you give your gums a rest as your arguments are moot and ridiculous at best , tbh I’d get a more reasoned response from a potatoe

          • Hannah Wales

            Peter, you make me ashamed to call myself right wing – what a disgraceful comment.

          • Peter Chambers

            Jog on

          • Hannah Wales

            Gladly. I will happily sprint away from such an ignorant and vile oaf.

          • Blazeaway

            Mr Locke, your reasoning is as poor as your command of English, yet you berate other people.
            Why?

          • Sue Smith

            I wonder how you know how much time right wing-orientated people spend reading to their children!? I want names and addresses.

          • Peter Chambers

            Working??? My arse , they do it when its not signing on day the scruffy little socialists , p.s pulling people up on grammar or spelling is the signature of a loser who can’t think of anything else to say … Try something called a reasoned argument rather then being a grammar Nazi .

          • Stuart Locke

            Missed an apostrophe there mate. Incidentally, my job saves people’s lives. What do you contribute to society?

          • Blazeaway

            Mr Locke! You’ve missed another comma.

          • Peter Chambers

            Saves lives?? What do you do?, go round coma wards and read to them because if I was in one and heard you wittering on I’d damn well want to wake up and go home

          • Stuart Locke

            No. If that was my job though, I’d definitely leave you be.

          • Sue Smith

            Your job ‘saves lives’? Again, another bleeding heart lefty. What, you work for the taxi service which brings “refugees” to Lampadusa? Shame on you.

          • Stuart Locke

            No just a paramedic. Let’s hope you never need me.

          • Blazeaway

            Two mistakes.

          • Sue Smith

            You too; because you missed “too” and put “to” instead.

          • Stuart Locke

            I think you’ll find it should be ‘to’. You say you were a teacher???

          • Sue Smith

            Wrong again. Give up while you’re still ahead.

            Confucius he say “when in big hole stop digging”!!

          • Stuart Locke

            Oh Sue, read it carefully and the original mistake that I was quoting. I hope you marked your students’ work more carefully.

          • Peter Chambers

            I actually read that aloud in Martin creefs voice from cabin pressure lol , keep it Sue … That turnip Locke is wilting

        • Blazeaway

          I’ve just found five grammatical mistakes in this post.

          • Stuart Locke

            Well done.

          • Sue Smith

            And, in keeping with your lefty sentiments, you still win a prize!!! Wouldn’t want to crush your self-esteem; well, not longer than an hour anyway.

        • Sue Smith

          That’s exactly confirming what I’ve always thought. Thanks.

      • Jeffrey Vernon

        It’s too late to save your children, and I’m sorry your comp was awful, but mine was rather good. I did 3 sciences and 3 languages and music, before the government of the time decided that quite enough money had been spent on this frivolous experiment and put a stop to it. This was on a council estate in a garrison town. If comps are bad, they’ve been allowed to get that way.

        • mmac1968

          Jeffrey, my comprehensive was an excellent school, classes were divided up according to ability and competition was encouraged. Bad behaviour was minimal as dicipline, detention and expulsions were enforced. There was a 50/50 split betweem male and female teachers. As I remember the only real problem was industrial action which affected my year group in 85 for exams. But sadly today comprehensives are not run well and if your local one is a bad one , you have little option left to you if you can not move to a better area. But many people work hard to send there children private because they have lost faith in a dogmatic PC driven education system. Generally the teachers are similar but the schools can enforce dicipline.

    • Blazeaway

      You missed a hyphen.

      • Sue Smith

        And the 9.30pm to Brighton I should think.

    • Sue Smith

      I’m a right wing retired teacher and I very much liked children; I just didn’t pontificate to them, that’s all.

  • pp22pp

    The Lefties love to sit on committees and decide who gets prizes and awards. That’s how Common Purpose takes over organisations.

    • Tellytubby

      They prefer to call it “Leading beyond authority” (and legitimacy) old boy.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    Sorry James but it’s your own fault.

    All good parents know that it’s very important to censor the lefty guff bought for kids by losing books on days out, down behind the wardrobe or preferably “accidentally” putting them in the pile for the charity shop. This incident shows your parenting is defective.

  • ohforheavensake

    You’re a sour little soul, aren’t you?

  • Gilbert White

    Anally Andrew Motion, potty trained?

  • Lawrence James

    Hurrah for Mary Seacole ! She was the daughter of a British officer and ran a private enterprise hotel for British officers in Balaklava.By all accounts she was a cheery and kind hostess; she also cashed officers’ cheques, for she knew they were gentlemen.All in all, she was a worthy example for schoolchildren.

    • Picquet

      Quite. Her heroic voluntary efforts on behalf of the common soldier will be remembered for …er, ever, if written into history by the Left.

      • Lawrence James

        Indeed, the lefties have hijacked this admirable lady who took tea with Queen Victoria and wore her Crimean War medal proudly.

  • I’m making Oz Jr read the children’s classics before I let him anywhere near the modern stuff – OK the Harry Potter series is by now a classic. Right now he has a fixation with Roald Dahl.

  • Lauren

    I agree with her on diversity of heros and heroines in children’s books. Something you don’t even consider until you have mixed race little kids to read to at night and realise you are faced with a glut of stories about middle class white boys and a much smaller number of white girls.

    Sure stories about ubiquitous white children’s adventures have their place, but you want to shore kids up a bit for life. He was pre speech when he was first told off by an adult for touching something in a shop and called a filthy p@ki. We’ve managed to avoid a repeat of that so far, but in a few months he’ll be coming home asking what it means and it’s going to dawn on him that Christopher Robin and Peter Pan and Superman aren’t like him after all.

    I would love to find a series of good books about a mixed race child being brave and clever like him.

    • mmac1968

      Why mixed race, you can find books about Indian, African and Chinese children etc worldwide although these are single race. They inverabily need translation is all. But our national literature reflects the nation as it was and has not caught up with the sudden change in demographics. This is not racist no more than an Indian book seller would not be selling a book about the adventures of little Jimmy and Mandy. The problem is people see racism where there is none and as such are blighted my minority self interest groups with axes to grind. If differences are continually highlighted as to define groups then the differences can only widen. This nation has held it’s door open for good or worse and continues to do so. London is soon approaching a world first where the population will be predominantly born abroad.

      • Feminister

        She didn’t say it was racist. You are arguing with yourself.

        She said she’d like to find at least one good series of books about her little boy’s childhood experiences. What have you got against choice? Or is it deviation from the hegeminy that worries you?

        • mmac1968

          She said their was a glut of stories about white middle class boys. So there are three issues at hand for class warriors, racist witch finder generals and class warriors. I am saying stop bloody looking for a problem when they do not exist.
          I am white, my wife is Indonesian and as such in Indonesia there are books in Behasa for them about Indonesians children strangely enough. Yhey lile the Japanese do not nelieve in multiculturalism so maybe you can pick on them. Here there are books in written by well meaning middle class white people with the intention of entertaining children, nothing more. Being called a Paki is terrible but no more than being called a Kaffir in your own country by people invited hete to inrich our sorely uninriched society. So please get off your high hobby horse. Maybe write a book.

  • John Steadman

    Oh yes – Rosen…one of the BBC’s favourite Lefties.

  • spiritof78

    Such mindless prejudice and paranoia

  • GraveDave

    I must say I agree with this. They’re either lesbians and feminists, black, or made up of poets who once wrote at least one good poem. Ted Hughes wasn’t a very good laureate but his poetry output was nearly always special.

    • Sten vs Bren

      That’s because Ted Hughes was an ardent lesbian.

      Often black.

  • IrisLSparkman

    fchggfh

  • rtj1211

    Well if you could wean Rod Liddle off the ‘cantankerous old git’ bit, the role sounds like a perfect sabbatical for him next year………..

  • Fraser Bailey

    Sorry to disappoint you James, but I heard Chris Riddell interviewed on the radio and he is the very archetype of annoying, unfunny leftieness.

  • MikeF

    So something that is ‘specifically’ about the ‘BME experience’ is ‘more diverse’ than something that isn’t. How do you deal with people who think like that?

  • Dan O’Connor

    ” As long as they integrate ” is actuallly code for = ” As long as they integrate with British Cultural Marxist values
    Coming all the way over here because your own people are incapable of creating safe and prosperous societies, only to discover that everything is ” hideously White “

  • Nige Cook

    “I’m talking, of course, about the poet and author Michael Rosen — on whose best-known book I am more than qualified to pass judgment, having read it several times and found it to be possibly the most mind-numbingly tedious work in the entire canon of children’s literature.”

    So the 21st century journalistic equivalent of Sir Harry Paget Flashman has read “several times … the most mind-numbingly tedious work in the entire canon of children’s literature.”

    The narcissistic left-wingers to me seem to be the guys posing as liberal conservatives, not just Flashy who can’t get the negative feedback error of climate change or the real error in the hockey stick into front page print (hint: Mann’s interpretation of ice sublimation and tree ring proxies relies on an implicit assumption of positive feedback not the reality of negative feedback from condensed atomspheric water clouds, an assumption which suppresses the much wider range of natural past climate fluctuations, since it completely ignores the fact that when temperature rises, you get more water evaporation and clouds blocking sunshine for photosynthesis or ice sublimation of heavy oxygen-18 in water molecules, so these proxies record LESS apparent temperature effects than really occur when you take account of cloud cover being a function of temperature).

    The problem with the big name experts and professional media commentators of this kind who take short cuts is that they act like moles for the socialists who want to turn Britain into another failed economy like Greece. I’m getting suspicious now of anyone who criticises the left. An analogy here is the 20th century version of Flashy, Enoch Powell’s April 20, 1968, when he couldn’t make a sensible, realistic speech about the pressures of immigration on housing costs without turning it into racist fear-mongering of the most exaggerated, inhuman Stalinist type. Usually such people are themselves using left wing techniques, which are light on objectivity and heavy on empty rhetoric, with pompous language copied straight from the thesaurus.

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